Clay County Sheriff's Office offers suggestions for personal safety on the street, in your car and at home.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Staff 2019
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  Clay County Sheriff's Office - Personal Safety

Personal Safety Recommendations

Virtually all activities in life entail some level of risk, and we all have different attitudes toward risk. At one end of the scale is refusing to engage in an activity by exaggerating the level of risk involved. At the other end is engaging in very risky activities while refusing to take any precautions. Neither of these attitudes are useful for living an empowered life. What is useful to accurately assess the risks, take those precautions that make sense, and live as fully as possible. The following precautions should be adopted within a cultural/gender context. They will not guarantee safety, but they will minimize criminal opportunities.

On the street:
Never hitchhike! It's not worth the risk.
Be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings
When walking, walk in the middle of the sidewalk and walk facing oncoming traffic.
Try not to overload yourself with packages or other items. Keep your hands as free as possible.
Do not wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
Do not read while walking to standing on a sidewalk.
If you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if it is snatched. Otherwise you could be knocked down and hurt.
A good suggestion for men is to carry a second wallet containing a few dollar bills and old expired credit card, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gun point, give the suspect the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to help police in making the arrest.
Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front carry no more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.

In your car:
Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
When you approach your parked vehicle, visually check the area around the vehicle for any suspicious persons or activity. If you observe anything suspicious walk to where there are people and call the police.
Always park in visible, well-lighted areas.
If you drive a car attempt to avoid parking next to a larger pickup or van. They can be easy to hide behind.
To reduce the time to enter you car, have your keys ready.
When operating your vehicle, keep doors locked and windows up.
Keep valuables in the trunk or out of sight.
Use extra caution in underground parking or parking garages, and try not to go alone.
When stopped at lights or in traffic, allow space between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can make an exit if needed.
If someone approaches your vehicle and tries to enter blow your horn to attract attention.
A cell phone is a good investment in safety.

At home:
Have lights at all entrances
Have a wide angle door viewer on all exterior doors
Have good locks on all doors and windows -- and use them!
Do no use your full name on your mailbox, in the telephone directory, or on your answering machine.
Do not leave a schedule of your times away from home on your answering machine.
Know which of your neighbors you can trust and depend on in an emergency.
Check who is at the door before opening it, and do not open the door to an unexpected visitor.
Don't hide extra keys in easily accessible places. Criminals will find them.
Ask for photo identification of all repair persons. If you are suspicious call to verify employment.
Never give personal information to telephone solicitors.
Consider creating a "safe-room" with a separate telephone line, or cellular phone and strong locks. If someone breaks in, you can retreat there and call for help.
Do not let strangers in to you home or apartment to use the telephone. Offer to make the call for them.
Use security bars for added security on sliding exterior doors.


Clay County Sheriff's Office Staff 2019

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